Connect With Your Customers Offline In The Real WorldAugust 8, 2012
By Michael Mink
Posted on investors.com
August 8, 2012
Even in an online, social-media world, 90% of brand-related conversations happen face to face or over the phone. That figure comes from a six-year research study done by Keller Fay Group, says Brad Fay, who with Ed Keller wrote “The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace.”
Remember, behind every seemingly faceless online transaction or one sparked through social media, are flesh-and-blood customers. Tips on fostering person-to-person connections with them:
• Maximize interactions. Zappos (owned by Amazon.com (AMZN) may be a New World retailer, but it believes in old-school relationships.
For Zappos, “the telephone, more so than social media, is a key channel for developing consumer relationships,” Fay told IBD. “Zappos encourages their service centers to maximize rather than minimize the length of those calls.”
• Encourage conversations. Create talk-worthy messages. Regardless of the channel used, it’s vital to have one customers want to share.
People tend to share those things that are surprising, funny or emotionally charged, said Fay: “Your most loyal customers are your best asset for increasing sales through word of mouth. “Regularly feed them information they will want to share with their friends and families. Remind them why they like you. Your most valuable customers are the ones who refer the most new customers to you.”
Keller Fay Group research reveals that half of all conversations about brands end with somebody deciding to make a purchase based on what they learned. “There’s no marketing medium more likely to lead to a purchase than recommendations from family, friends or acquaintances,” Fay said.
• Invest in your website. Turn it into a conversation piece. “Brand websites are the place where brand advocates will go, and you want them to find information they want to share with other people in their social circles,” Fay said.
• Train ‘em. Most people communicate badly and aren’t aware of it, says Mark Waldman, who with Andrew Newberg wrote “Words Can Change Your Brain.” “We talk too much, listen too little and use words and facial expressions that put the other person on the defensive,” he said. This results in lost sales and poor work performances.
He advises to speak warmly when face to face with a customer.